Robert Downey Jr.) against an enemy called the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?
The film is interesting because even though it's the third installment of the franchise, it doesn't pick up after IRON MAN 2. Instead the film follows the events of THE AVENGERS and the aftermath of the events that took place. So it's just like the Marvel comic books, whereas there's an incident that happens in one book, it gets referenced in another. Same goes for this movie as well. Fans of both the comics and the films will see this as a treat.
Another aspect that I enjoyed was that the film focused more on Tony Stark than his superhero alter ego. The events that took place in New York in THE AVENGERS has left some serious ramifications on Mr. Stark's life. He's now suffering severe nightmares which causes him insomnia. Another serious side affect is the horrible anxiety attacks that he has. Combine with his fear of losing the only thing he can't live without, hie beloved Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow), he must somehow rise above it all and save the world once again. Here, we have the fascinating psychoanalysis of the American superhero and what makes him tick. Of course, Robert Downey Jr. turns in another great performance, but he is finally given the opportunity to stretch out as an actor and bring a new dimension to his character. Truly a bold step on the part of the filmmakers for taking this direction.
Shane Black (KISS KISS BANG BANG) steps into the director's chair for the third chapter, taking over for Jon Favreau (the director of the last two films but stays on as producer here) and does a terrific job of finding the right balance of action, humor, and drama to create a film that really entertains the hardcore IRON MAN fans while simultaneously creating some great character development and depth to Tony Stark. Believe it or not, this is only Black's second film he's ever directed, but he's more well known for his screenplays for films like the LETHAL WEAPON series as well as THE MONSTER SQUAD, THE LAST BOY SCOUT, and THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT. Black also co-wrote the film with Drew Pearce.
Now there's been some controversy surround the Mandarin character. Now as some of you who may have heard, there is a twist to the character here in the film, which has caused some hardcore comic book fans crying fowl. In the Marvel Universe, the Mandarin is Iron Man's greatest enemy. Like what the Red Skull is to Captain America, like Loki is to Thor, their battles are legendary in the comic book world. Here, like I said, there's a twist which caught me by surprised! But I thought is was a very clever twist and I enjoyed the new "Mandarin" character. But that's just my opinion, so I'll leave it like that. But I must give props to Sir Ben Kingsley, for taking on the role and making it his own!
As I stated in my intro, the film was released in 3D and it looks freaking amazing! Now I do believe that the whole 3D gimmick has been done to death (this is my fourth 3D movie so far this year!), but here it works. The action literally leaps off the screen and lands in your popcorn! Now it is also in 2D so if you get really bad headaches from 3D, then this version is for you. But if you can, see it in 3D! Also stick around after the credits for a bonus scene. What? Don't act so surprised by that. This is a Marvel movie after all!
Over all IRON MAN 3 is a fantastic, action packed, thrill ride conclusion to one of the greatest superhero trilogies of all time! Now even though this is the end, Iron Man will return again in THE AVENGERS 2. But in the meantime, see this movie as many times as you can before it goes away! 4 out of 5 stars!! Recommended!!
IRON MAN 3 is currently playing in both 2D and 3D in theaters nationwide, including the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at www.cameracinemas.com.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!